The Assassination Attempt on Buhari: Will the Ambition of One Man Lead Us to Another Bloodbath? By Bemdoo Hulugh
Growing up as a child, there was a time we accommodated some Muslims in our home. I still see the picture in my mind when we sat in one corner of the compound for morning devotion while they were on the other side saying their morning prayers. What I remember about them today is that they were very generous people.
I remember in primary four when our class teacher brought a big hand-made card for us to write our names. We wrote our names one after another before the card was handed over to our Muslim classmates as a sallah gift. This was a catholic primary school I must emphasis.
I still have fond memories of my secondary school days when we used tesbih as just another fashion accessory. Our muslim schoolmates will sometimes join us in receiving ash on Ash Wednesday just for the fun of it and the most interesting one was when we join them in the dinning hall at sunset to break fast. So much food was reserved for them more than they could take,so we were always there to help them and also help ourselves.
In the early 2000s my elder brother went for NYSC in Yobe State and came back with stories how Youth Corp members were respected in the north. It was agreed by all that they were respected more in the north than in the south.
Today, no Youth Corp member wants to serve in the north,I don’t think people in my neighbourhood would be comfortable to see my father accommodate 10 Muslims these days and with the way Christians and Muslims easily trade insults or change any discussion into a religious affair,I don’t think school children these days are enjoying same religious harmony like in my days. Our religious differences has been exploited by politicians that we now find ourselves close to the edge and that is why the assassination attempt on General Buhari was a very dangerous move by who ever plotted it.Every public commentator has since been trying to reframe the incidence to favour their interest,forgetting the consequence if the assassins had succeeded or if other kind of similar assassination succeed in the future.
The fact is the ambition of President Jonathan has come along with this dirty kind of politics that is pushing the peace and unity of this country to the limit. Off course,President Jonathan can’t take all the blame for exploiting religion and ethnicity in his politics but he will take majority of the blame. Yes,we remember when some northern elements didn’t want him to be President after the death of President Yara’dua because according to them it was the turn of the north and when some Northern elites didn’t want him to contest elections in 2011 with the simple reason that he wasn’t a northerner. Inspite of all these,Dr Goodluck Jonathan became the President in 2011 but he failed to unite the people after elections and since then this country has continue to listen to one polarising rhetoric after another from friends of President Jonathan who claim to speak for the people of Niger Delta or some people in the north claiming same for the north.
For every Boko Haram attack, the PDP and the supporters of President Jonathan blame it on APC or northerners that don’t want the President to continue beyond 2011. We are losing territories to Boko Haram in the northeast,bombs are going off left and right but all the government under President Jonathan do is condemn the act and his political party PDP follow up by releasing a statement pointing accusing fingers at the main opposition party. It has become a routine as our security problems continue to linger. It appears the President is only concerned with his re-election and not the well-being of the people.
If the President thought the security problem in the country will remain at the level of targeting unknown Nigerians,the attack on General Buhari and Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi have shown that these attacks can cause more problem. If high profile Northern leaders continue to be a target of assassins then we don’t need T.B. Joshua to tell us that we are heading towards another bloodbath. Let us go back in our history to remember what happened when some Northern leaders were killed in 1966. Chinua Achebe asked in his last book, “… Are we perpetually doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past because we are too stubborn to learn from them?”. If an online debate on the Israel/Palestine conflict in Gaza can degenerate into a Christian/Muslim affair in Nigeria and make people call each other nasty names then even if a Muslim kills a northern leader,it can be turned into a christian/Muslim war.
President Jonathan should know that we are sitting on a ticking time bomb. Never in my life have I seen a President that for 4years has continue to blame his political opponents for every attack on his country to a level that an assassination attempt on one of his political opponents was still blamed on his opponents. Jonathan should know that he can’t be President if there is no Nigeria,so he must make the country safe for all. Steering this country away from impending chaos is the first step to achieve his ambition. His inability to tackle Boko Haram in more than 4years is a failure on the part of his government and a step against his ambition to return as president. Under the watch of President Jonathan Nigeria has found herself on the crossroad,one is leading to another bloodbath and the other to a rebirth. When I look at how blessed Nigeria is,I come to the conclusion that God is on our side but we are against ourselves. May God guide us towards the path of rebirth.
Bemdoo Hulugh is an active citizen from Makurdi
You can also interact with me on Twitter @bumy04